The Employee Answer Right Under Our Nose
When it comes to attracting, training, motivating and unifying employees, more and more companies are using a powerful new tool. But it’s not based on a new technology. It’s based on something we already know and love: movies.
We’ve all experienced how powerful movies are. In seconds, a movie can make even the most distant planet feel real. Their heroes teach and inspire us. The moments they create move us, shape our opinions and rally us together. So, companies are increasingly using videos and movie-style storytelling to harness that speed and power for internal communication. Here are just a few ways:
When you’re courting employees, you want a movie that positions your company as strategic and headed for bigger things. It also doesn’t hurt to show how fun your employees are, but even more persuasive is presenting your people as colleagues your prospects can look up to. And you can often leverage content from your existing company-story video – it’s amazing how simply changing music to something youthful adds fresh energy to an outdated video.
Imagine you’re starting a new job, and someone hands you 15 decks about the company, but even after you read them, you still felt completely lost. You might want to shout, “I swear, you guys, I’m smart!” Unfortunately, people tell me that’s how it feels. And they are smart – it’s just that 15 decks in the first month are overwhelming for anyone; it’s too much, too soon. What if, instead of all those decks, you show new hires a dynamic five-minute movie telling the company’s story and where their department fits in? New hires will be excited, retain more, and start contributing right away.
Unifying employees around the mission statement
Every mission statement begins as a passionate desire to do something better. It’s when it becomes “official” that it turns into a watered-down cliché. A video that features corporate leaders speaking from the heart about what the company means to them personally, coupled with real-life stories of customers experiencing a meaningful difference, can bring employees back to the true spirit of the mission and unite them with a central purpose. For instance, a pharmaceutical company could profile a man whose life was saved by one of their medications. A company that makes cleaning products could show a mother who doesn’t worry about spills on the coffee table, so her kids can play with impunity, and she can feel the joy of motherhood – all because of a cleaning spray. Movies can show these stories in clear and emotionally powerful ways so team members feel the difference their company makes for its customers, and how they’re a part of that difference.
As companies become larger, they can become such silos that employees lose track of what other departments even exist, let alone what they do. What if every department produced its own one-minute movie that took you through their contributions to the company’s overall goals? What if the movie also made them look like heroes? The companywide goodwill generated would be fantastic, producing inspiration, synergy and camaraderie.
Because movies are a more universal and concrete experience than nearly any other media tool, they’re a powerful way to get everyone on the same page. When a message is complex, a movie can simplify it and rally employees on a scale few other platforms reach. Whether you’ve got 100 or 10,000 employees, one headquarters or offices around the globe, a captivating video can unify everyone around a single vision. So next time, roll the cameras and watch it bring everyone together.
Many companies have a rich history, and it’s beneficial for employees to learn about it, especially if the founders are still alive. Employees will relate to the founder’s struggle, how they kept their dream focused, and how happy they are to see people striving for that same dream today. And a company heritage movie makes the founders feel honored, as they deserve to be.
Have you noticed that new things are always viewed with a little suspicion? That’s certainly true with a new policy. Unless it’s about raises or more vacation, people are going to wonder what the real motivation is. It could get emotional real fast. A movie can shift that anxiety 180 degrees. Even if it’s just a bigwig explaining the new policy with some passion, you can infuse trust for the new policy wholeheartedly and keep the drama to a minimum.
Talk about good feelings. When a company throws a philanthropic event like painting a school or cleaning a beach, it can bring the entire organization together. A movie about the event can take everyone right back to that warm, fuzzy camaraderie, making employees proud, department heads smile, and the PR department weep tears of joy. I95
Ted Frank is the author of “Get to the Heart.” As a story strategist at Backstories Studio, he uses movie-style storytelling to help people make their presentations quicker, more visual and more emotionally effective. A longtime veteran in advertising, marketing, consulting and filmmaking, Frank has discovered how to transform corporate projects into powerful stories for companies such as Netflix, Fiat Chrysler, Twitter and Pacific Gas & Electric.